How to be mindful in everyday life - Heal'r
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How to be mindful in everyday life

Written by Tanya Lee

Mindfulness, you’ve most likely heard the buzz in recent years surrounding this practise but what exactly is it? From a definition perspective, mindfulness is the act of paying attention to the present moment without any judgement. I can hear your mind saying, great but how do we take mindfulness into our everyday life? Sure, when we’re in a Yoga or Meditation class or listening to a mediation online it is a lot easier (still not easy!) to be present and to curb the good ole monkey mind but out in the real world where we have become accustomed to doing 2-3 things on the go (you mulit-tasking queen!), keeping up with the kids schedules and taking in the constant stimulus around us… let’s face it the world we live in can get pretty busy!

Tomorrow morning when you first wake up, before reaching for your phone, try taking 10 mindful breaths before you do anything. You could be laying down or sitting up for this – the main goal is to be in a comfortable, easy position. According to Marsha Lucas, Ph.D, psychologist and author of Rewire Your Brain for Love, “a mindfulness practice first thing in the morning helps set the ‘tone’ of your nervous system for the rest of the day, increasing the likelihood of other mindful moments.”

From there try incorporating mindfulness into your eating routine. If you’re like me, you might find yourself so famished that stuffing your face with food is your number one priority however try to soft it down. Enjoy every mouthful, experience the taste, flavours and textures of each bite as if it was the first time you have ever tasted whatever it is your eating. Slow down and breathe deeply between each mouthful, allowing your body time to digest your food. Tune in and notice when you are full, rather than overeating.

Continue to take mindfulness with you throughout your day, whether you are cleaning your teeth, having a shower, commuting to and from work, at your next board meeting or having a conversation with a friend or your partner. Approach each moment with conscious awareness and start to notice the subtle changes in your attitude, mindset and relationships, noticing if and when you fall into autopilot mode. “Autopilot is the big enemy of relationships,” says Marsha Lucas. Try setting a reminder every hour to pause. Give yourself one minute or however long you can and focus on your breathing. “”The object of mindfulness is your breath, focus your attention on it. Breathing in, this is my in-breath. Breathing out, this is my out-breath” says Meditation master Thich Nhat Hahn.

Like anything new, with practise the easier it becomes and when we start to notice the benefits in our life, we are more likely to make sure these habits stick. Harvard researcher Matt Killingsworth says, “the average persons mind is wandering around 47% of our day—and when the mind wanders we don’t feel happy. Spending so much time with the mind wandering makes us vulnerable to depression, stress, anxiety and other negative emotions”.

 

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